Carson Valley, Nevada is an often ignored area of the state, not less than by many tourists.
Most individuals go through Reno, simply to the north of the Carson Valley, on their technique to Lake Tahoe or Las Vegas but it surely’s worthy of a stop on it’s own.
Or fairly, a stay, because there’s lots to do.
Disclosure: Our trip to the Carson Valley was provided by Visit Carson Valley (visitcarsonvalley.org), and Lake Tahoe Visitors Association (tahoesouth.com), in exchange for sharing our experience with you.
About Carson Valley
Most individuals have heard of Carson City. The capital of Nevada sits just south of Reno, which calls to mind sprawling suburbia and casinos.
Well, the Carson Valley is none of that.
The Carson Valley, roughly 50 minutes south of Reno and positioned in Douglas County, is home to the towns of Minden, Gardnerville, and Genoa.
The world is steeped in history and is nestled against the east flank of the Sierra Nevada Mountain Range.
South Lake Tahoe is only a 30‑minute jump over the mountains. But don’t leave just yet ‑ the Carson Valley is a worthy destination in itself.
So what’s so great about it?
Things to See within the Carson Valley
If you wish to learn more in regards to the history of Nevada, and the west in General, that is the place to be.
All three major towns within the Carson Valley have some interesting history but Genoa, founded in 1851, was the primary settlement in what became the Nevada Territory.
It’s home to Mormon Station Historic Park, which commemorates the primary everlasting trading post within the west.
Genoa has more historic plaques per square mile than I believe I’ve ever seen.
Considered one of the good facts to me was that Genoa was a key stop on the Pony Express Route through Nevada.
Genoa was the last stop before riders headed over the rugged mountains along the Kingsbury Grade to the California State Line and is where many riders would spend their winters.
The Dangberg Home Ranch Historic Park outside of Minden was also interesting. Dogs are allowed on the grounds but not contained in the buildings.
The Dangberg Family once owned the biggest ranch within the valley and founded the town of Minden.
Not every thing to see within the Carson Valley was built a protracted time ago though.
Just minutes east of Gardnerville is the Jacobson Rusty Rancho – a sculpture garden curated by one in every of the long-time locals.
We stopped by on our visit and happened to catch the owner out tending to his collection.
He gave us a private tour of the grounds and told us the names and stories of many sculptures.
Eventually, this attraction could also be open to the general public frequently but, for now, it’s price seeing even when you may have to view it through the fence.
For more information, please see 37 Things To Do In Carson Valley Part I and Part II.
Carson Valley Dog Friendly Trails
Trails! Oh, the paths. Select your adventure.
There are a variety of dog friendly hikes within the Carson Valley.
The one exception I discovered was the River Fork Ranch Preserve.
I’m not clear whether it’s off limits to dogs to guard environment and wildlife, or because parts of it’s a working cattle operation, (probably each) but don’t show up with fido expecting to stretch your legs there.
Otherwise, all other trails are fair game.
You may hike the Pinion trail, positioned southeast of Gardnerville, through desert shrublands and luxuriate in views of the Pine Nut and Carson Ranges.
Or you possibly can hike across the foothills of the Sierra Nevada Range to the west.
The Genoa trail system and Fay‑Luther trail system are great.
For those who are really ambitious, you possibly can hike the Eagle Ridge Trail out of Genoa, proceed on the Sierra Canyon Trail, and hike about 3,500 feet as much as Genoa Peak and the Tahoe Rim Trail.
There are a variety of trails and decommissioned dirt roads around Topaz Lake too.
We didn’t have time to explore them on our trip but that can be my primary stop the subsequent time we’re within the Carson Valley.
Dog Friendly Hotels within the Carson Valley
During our visit, we stayed within the Holiday Inn Express & Suites Minden. The rooms were modern and clean.
This may increasingly sound silly but, because I’m a blogger with a variety of electronics to charge, the variety of electrical outlets in a room can absolutely make or break my stay. And there have been good enough of those within the room. Yay!
Other hotels within the Carson Valley that allow dogs are the Topaz Lodge, Quality Inn and Suites Minden, and the Historian Inn Gardnerville.
Dog Friendly Restaurants within the Carson Valley
During our stay, my favorite restaurant we ate at was the Overland Restaurant and Pub.
The food was delicious and there’s a dog-friendly patio within the back.
Other restaurants with dog friendly outdoor seating are the Minden Meat & Deli and Cook’d.
After our visit, I learned that the Minden Meat & Deli is somewhat famous an an absolute must-eat stop for a variety of people. Some people actually exit of their way simply to stop there.
Their food is nice however the beer selection (canned, bottled, and on tap) rivaled a few of the perfect and most interesting I’ve seen.
All restaurants we ate at had vegan options available.
You can even get food to go about anywhere and luxuriate in it in your hotel room or one in every of the picnic tables at Lampe Park in Gardnerville.
Carson Valley Veterinarians
For those who are traveling together with your dog, it’s vital to have the ability to locate a Carson Valley vet in a rush in case there’s an emergency.
The Carson Valley Veterinary Hospital, positioned in Minden, NV, is open for emergencies during business hours and a veterinarian is on call until 9:00pm.
Normal operating hours are 7 am – 7 pm on weekdays, 8 am to five pm on Saturday, and 9 am to 4 pm on Sunday.
Outside of business hours, and for very serious emergencies, the perfect option could also be to go to the Animal Emergency & Specialty Center roughly 50 minutes north in Reno since it’s open 24 hours, seven days every week.
Extend Your Vacation and Visit Lake Tahoe
For those who want extend your vacation by a number of days, you possibly can drive half-hour west over the Kingsbury Grade to Lake Tahoe.
Just a pair minutes north on highway 50 is the Zephyr Cove Resort, which is an ideal hub for exploring the Nevada side of Lake Tahoe.
The Zephyr Cove Resort is a group of personal, quaint, dog friendly lake-side cabins (there are lodge rooms there too but they should not dog friendly).
Accommodations range from a two-story, two-bedroom Chalet with gas fireplace and a totally functional kitchen to studio cabins with a queen bed and kitchenette.
Just outside each cabin is a picnic table and fire pit so you possibly can enjoy a barbecue on summer evenings.
Right out your front door is Zephyr Cove Beach.
The north portion of the beach, north of the dock, is among the best dog friendly beaches in South Lake Tahoe.
But don’t stop there!
The best and most unusual thing to do on the Nevada side of South Lake Tahoe is to rent a transparent kayak from Clearly Tahoe and explore around Cave Rock.
Cave Rock Nevada State Park is one their most preferred locations for clear kayaking as is offers essentially the most diverse experience.
On this tour, you’ll paddle along impressive cliffs, the long-lasting rocky shoreline, and explore beautiful coves that shimmer with pyrite (fools gold).
Dogs (and adventure cats!) are allowed to accompany adults (18+) on the 1.5 or 2 hour beginner tours for a further fee of $20.00 per pet.
They will ride within the shuttle too in your lap or in a carrier.
Note: Just one dog (or cat) is allowed per kayak (even in the event that they are small) and the dog-weight limit is 30 lbs. No exceptions for safety reasons.
Other things to do on the Nevada side of South Lake Tahoe include:
- Watch the sunset at Nevada Beach (dogs are only allowed on the small portion by the boat dock – it’s well signed)
- Hike to the highest of Cave Rock to soak up an expansive view of Lake Tahoe (also one other excellent spot to look at sunset)
- Hike the Tahoe Rim Trail from the Kingsbury North Trailhead so far as you would like (you possibly can even hike to the highest of Genoa peak and look out over the Carson Valley in case you are really ambitious by cutting over to this trail from the north trailhead).
Whether you visit for a day or every week, the Carson Valley and surrounding areas are sure to maintain you entertained.